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Poster: adks12020 Date: Aug 19, 2011 5:35am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

I could be totally wrong on this but it seems to me that not many of the Dead's songs are all that political..and weren't intended to be. I recall hearing an interview or two where Jerry and Bob were asked about the "meaning" of the lyrics in a few songs and they basically said, and I'm paraphrasing, "well, we kind of have thoughts about what they mean but it is up to the listener to decide."

I mean many of them are defintely stories written in historical context but I don't think there are many of their songs that were meant to express a specific political viewpoint....more of just a here's a story about the time. You make of it what you will....again, I'm young and could be totally wrong but I have thought a lot about it.

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Poster: Edsel Date: Aug 19, 2011 6:02am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

I'm old(er)(64), lived in it, and through it, and I think you're right.

"If you get confused, listen to the music play ...")

That's all folks.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 19, 2011 6:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

The wheel is turning ...

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Poster: Edsel Date: Aug 19, 2011 6:19am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

thankfully, stagnation seems like a dismal future.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 19, 2011 6:17am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

Oh, I definitely agree. They're always so insistently non-political that it's interesting when they DO have a somewhat political song, or touch on it lightly, since it does end up having that same Dead-ish philosophy -- which isn't just "listen to the music play" (though that's part of it) but timeless and universal. The exception proves the rule. SotM may be the lone true exception, really.

The other "rule" being that the universality doesn't just apply to the World Outside (current events, politics, etc) ... there are very few songs that are self-revealing and personal and specific in the sense of angst, individual pain, etc. You sure won't get the sense that Jerry just broke up with his girl and is going to tell you all about it.

There are clear stories, but they're clear AS stories. Narratives that come from the folk tradition or COULD come from the folk tradition, witha story-like, Americana quality. So both the World Outside and the World Inside are universalized. If that makes sense :-)

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Poster: snori Date: Aug 19, 2011 7:33am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

While not overtly political it is the case that they played at many benefit gigs, often for local pressure groups or environmental causes. I believe one was actually for a South-East Asian hospital that had been bombed during the Vietnam war (?). Latterly of course they designated some of their shows as 'Rex Foundation' fundraisers, which donated to many organisations including English Classical Orchestras.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 19, 2011 9:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

>SotM may be the lone true exception,

agree with what you are saying overall but must insist that Morning Dew is definitely a political (anti-nuke) song.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Aug 19, 2011 12:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

Yeah, that's its origins with Bonnie Dobson. I don't hear it that way, though; it just seems to have a different resonance. I feel like there are other layers that attracted the band in the context of what they were doing and that get conveyed beyond an actual post-nuclear apocalypse reading. But that's totally subjective, of course.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 19, 2011 12:17pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

Interesting.

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Poster: bluedevil Date: Aug 19, 2011 9:27am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

"Taking a shit is a political act, smoking it is a more political act."

http://www.archive.org/details/gd73-02-09.sbd.allred.9888.sbeok.shnf

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Poster: WillCo Date: Aug 19, 2011 2:11pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics' - Maples Pavilion show

That Wavy Gravy introduction was labelled on a tape I acquired long ago as "Wavy Gravy Rap". I remember being disappointed when it turned out not to be a new song! Actually, in view of the fact that loads of new tunes were debuted at this show, maybe I wasn't that stupid .... okay, okay maybe there's no excuse.

It's a very, very good show.

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 19, 2011 10:23am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

Seems to me to be stretching a point ... sure, "anything" can be political, but then we dilute the term to meaninglessness. What would be a political song if an anti-nuke song is not political?

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Poster: fireeagle Date: Aug 19, 2011 7:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

i am 60 and i also think that u r right

politics of ecstasy (..tim leary..) were the only politics the grateful dead were really deep into, throughout all the years (combined and melted into a dream)..

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Aug 19, 2011 6:12am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: The Dead and 'Politics'

No, I think you're right ... more philosophical overall than political.